Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gratitude, part 7

I was 11 when my first niece came into the world. The event happened while my parents, Amy and I were in Lake Powell. We arrived at Bullfrog Marina, made a phone call, and found out Kayci had arrived. Suddenly, I was an aunt. She looked like this after a few weeks.

Kayci, circa 1986.

The event (becoming an aunt) repeated itself once a year for 4 years (pretty effortlessly on my part, since it was my sisters having children, not me. Becoming an aunt is lots easier than becoming a mom!) We had a collection of little girls ranging from 4 to newborn who frequently came over to our house and made things crazy. One year, one of them spilled gun solvent on her new Christmas outfit (you can partly blame a grandpa who didn’t put stuff away for that one!).

  Kayci and Jacqui, circa 1989

Lyndsay and Britteny, circa 1991

In retrospect, it seemed like the era first four grandkids lasted forever. Kayci, Lyndsay, Jaqui, and Britteny were in countless pictures together, sometimes dressed alike in Christmas swearshirts. They fought, they played, they grew, and etched a permanent place in their youngest aunt’s heart.

The four girls with my mom.

Of course, they were joined by other nieces and later some nephews who also are very dear to me (I love all of you!)

My nieces and oldest nephew, Easter 1996

All my nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and a grandnephew, Christmas 2008 (oh, and two blond boys that belong to me.)

But I have to say that those first few years with the girls were just amazing.

Now the four girls all grown up. They all are getting married and having kids of their own. A new great-nephew joined our family yesterday, thanks to Lyndsay. Britteny and Kayci will have babies in 2010. Jacqui will get married in January (on my 11th wedding anniversary!)

But, no matter how much they have grown, I still remember those little girls playing in my room with my old Barbie dolls, eating tomato macaroni soup on Saturdays, and wearing my old retainer during sleepovers (which is just gross; all I can ask is why?). I am grateful I was able to build so many memories with them as we grew up together.

Thanks, beautiful girls for letting me be your aunt. I love holding your baby boys and girls, I love seeing your older babies playing with my boys, I love the phone calls I get and the Facebook updates I read.  You have all turned out so wonderful. I am grateful for you.


Jeff and Kayci Bitton said...

Oh Becky! You are so funny! I LOVE looking at those pictures. I haven't seen them in ages. I spend so much time on my girls' photos and forget that I had a life before this one:) I totally remember the macaroni/tomato combo and serve it around these parts frequently. retainer...who will ever know WHY? I thought they were so cool though. Thanks for this sweet tribute. I tried to be like you so much as a little girl. (It probably drove you nuts.) Love you!

Apryl said...

Awww, I'm such a voyeur, I love looking at other people's pictures! What a sweet post. I can't imagine my crazy nephews having kids of their own. Or my kids, for that matter (Gretchen having just pushed down the little boy we're babysitting & then slammed the door in his face...)

Amy Sorensen said...

It is strange (and a little disturbing) to think I am a great aunt five times now. Weird.

Life is strange. I wasn't as close to everyone as you were after I got married, but I do still miss those days. Sort of. I was a wee bit crazy then, too, so probably my nostalgia is less realistic than reality.

At any rate...I don't think that made any sense. Great post though!